Well, we guess the era of good feelings between President Barack Obama and City Councilman Charles Barron is officially over.
Barron, a Brooklyn councilman not known for subtlety, recently accused Obama of being a “mouthpiece for a racist, imperialistic American foreign policy controlled by generals and corporate elites.” He was referring of course to the bombing of Libya, which he says is about “oil and power, not saving people. It’s about maximizing profits.”
Barron also accused the president of attending a $30,000 a plate fundraiser in Harlem without actually talking with any regular folks. “This was the president’s first visit to Harlem since he was elected,” Barron wrote. “Shame on him!”
Barron also said, “Black people did not vote for Barack Obama for him to bomb an African country, Libya. They elected him to stand up like a man against the forces of imperialism. They voted for him to bail out Harlem, where there is 50 percent Black male unemployment, like they bailed out Wall Street.”
“Your first visit to Harlem since being elected is for a bourgeois fundraiser for the Democratic Party and you don’t even have the courtesy to walk the streets of Harlem to meet the masses who put you in office. I hope Black people remember this when [Obama] comes back seeking our vote again.”
This apparent rancor wasn’t always there. Back in 2007, Barron noted according to the New York Observer that Obama “fought for black people in the South Side of Chicago,” and said, “He goes to a black liberation theologist church where they believe in a black Christ.”
In 2008, Barron campaigned for Obama in his district, printing 10,000 fliers on the candidate’s behalf. “White America will not allow Barack Obama to say, ‘I’m proud to be black and I want to make history as the first black president of the United States of America,'” Barron told an Observer reporter at the time.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 5, 2011